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National Heart Health Month

 

The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP study found that women’s caregiving is essential in supporting the long-term care system. Women have multiple roles as mothers, daughters, sisters, counselors, providers, and protectors. Women shoulder more responsibility now in and outside the home than ever before. An estimated 66% of caregivers are female. The average caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who works outside the home and provides her mother with 20 hours per week of unpaid care. Although men also assist, female caregivers may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than male caregivers.

 

Caregivers are at risk for caregiver burnout or caregiver fatigue. One may experience fatigue, anxiety, depression, and overwhelming emotional and physical stress, which can lead to cardiac instability. Uncontrolled stress can cause panic attacks, chest pains, rapid heartbeats, hypertension, and shortness of breath. Not getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, and taking time for yourself can increase the potential for heart disease. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, helps reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calm and well-being. Take time out for self-care: Make it a priority to engage in activities that you enjoy and that help you relax. Find what works best for you in terms of managing stress. Remember, it is essential to seek medical advice if you experience symptoms of uncontrolled stress or if you have concerns about your heart health. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized recommendations and guidance to help you manage stress effectively and maintain a healthy heart.

 

Every year, the first Friday of February is dedicated to National Wear Red Day as an awareness day for American women to understand their number one health threat: heart disease. Women are encouraged to know their blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol levels, and body mass index (BMI) to understand their health risk for heart disease better. Women must nurture themselves as profoundly as they nurture their families and communities. National Wear Red Day is supported by the American Heart Association and is celebrated with National Heart Health Month. It focuses on raising awareness of women’s heart disease and stroke risks. About 80% of cardiovascular diseases may be prevented by understanding your family health history and the five critical health numbers. Knowing these numbers can help healthcare providers determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. Maintaining a heart-healthy diet, incorporating daily physical activity, and not smoking can be the best weapons in preventing heart disease and stroke. By wearing red on this day, individuals can spark conversations about heart health, educate others about the risks and prevention strategies for heart disease, and promote the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. It is a powerful, unified way to unite communities, spread awareness, and save lives.

 

Please join us on Thursday, February 15, 2024, for COME’s Monthly 45-minute Zoom “Let’s Talk” information session at 7 PM.   Presenter: Lynda E. Morfa Outreach and Digital Coordinator Caregivers Program. Neighborhood Shopp. Join Zoom by clicking the bottom on the website. www.comeoutreach.org

 



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